What Would Boxing Look Like With Dana White As A Promoter?

He's fought fiercely to keep fighter purses and other business information like revenue, profit/loss and pay-per-view sales a secret. Information is power and White has kept a tight rein on the UFC’s financial data.

At the same time, he’s been a tireless advocate for the sport. He worked stunningly long hours, traveling the world to explain the basics of MMA to anyone who would listen. In the early days, not that many wanted to hear what he had to say, but it never deterred him.

He was patient, even as the financial losses mounted in those first few years. He believed fully in the product and insisted repeatedly that it someday would become the biggest sport in the world.

That’s long been the domain of soccer, but when White was challenged on it, he would say, “Fighting is in our DNA."

Love him or loathe him, the 46-year-old president of the UFC is far and away the most important figure in the brief history of MMA.

His influence is felt across the sport, from the way the fights are contested to the way they’re presented on television.

White is no fan of a conservative, take-no-risks style of fighting. He encourages the fighters passionately to go for the finish, to eschew a game plan, to forget about risk and to put an exciting match above all else.

He’s motivated fighters to use the style he enjoys by paying the ones who do and by cutting the ones who don’t. Entering a Feb. 6 fight against Roy Nelson, heavyweight Jared Rosholt had won three in a row and six of seven in the UFC.

His style, though, was that conservative one that White so loathed. After Nelson won a decision that night in a bout that was panned by fans and critics alike, White told Yahoo Sports, “That fight set the sport back 10 years.”

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UFC president Dana White smiles during a media event. (Getty)

Shortly thereafter, Rosholt was cut, out of a job despite a 6-2 record. It’s far from the first time White has done something to that effect – a not-so-subtle way of reminding fighters what they need to do to keep their jobs.

That style of fights has led in part to a great expansion of the fan base. The UFC’s marketing and public relations teams were, over time, able to show that MMA wasn’t, as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) infamously called it in 1997 “human cockfighting.”

It was a legitimate sport that combined many sports that are in the Olympics, such as boxing, wrestling, judo and taekwondo, but in the early days, that was lost on many people. It wasn’t the kind of thing that would end civilization, but it was incredibly entertaining. The problem was that at the time White took control, too few people understood what the sport was.

The UFC’s clever marketing, public relations and business acumen all play a role in the company’s success, but without the crazy knockouts, violent slugfests and out-of-nowhere submissions, it wouldn’t be near where it is today.

That will be difficult to replace without White constantly pushing the fighters to perform, and it’s an integral part of the success.

He vowed upon taking control of the UFC that any fan who wanted a picture or an autograph with a fighter would get one. He led the way in this regard himself, sometimes standing in the same spot for hours at a time signing autographs. He would agree to crazy requests from fans, allowing them to make a ring walk with a fighter or to wrap the belt around a champion’s waist after a big win.

His temper has gotten the best of him at times, and he’s taunted fans via social media, battled with and yanked credentials from reporters and openly blasted referees and judges.

The sport would be dramatically different without him, in some ways for the better and in other ways for the worse.

If the UFC is indeed sold and White opts not to stick around, one thing is for certain: It’s going to be a lot less colorful and a lot less entertaining to be around the UFC on a day-to-day basis.

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What Would Boxing Look Like With Dana White As A Promoter?


What Would Boxing Look Like With Dana White As A Promoter?

What Would Boxing Look Like With Dana White As A Promoter?


What Would Boxing Look Like With Dana White As A Promoter?